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Lingering With The Living God

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At first glance, Genesis 18 seems like a simple narrative of a meeting between God and his servant, Abraham. However, this passage holds much more importance, and is incredibly relevant, to 21st century Christians.

Genesis 18 tells the story of how three men appear near Abraham’s home; one of these men being God himself: “the Lord appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre.” God is on his way to Sodom to judge the evil taking place in the city at the time. When Abraham sees these men, he runs to them and falls flat on his face in adoration, for he knows that he is in the presence of the living God. Abraham then offers the three men food and drink before they continue on their travels. They eat, drink, and rest together. When the meal is over, Abraham does not simply let the Lord move on to his work in Sodom. Rather, he gets up, “draws near”, and walks with him for part of the way. He had questions for God, things that were burdening him and burning in his heart. Abraham desired to walk with the Lord and he desired for more of Him. Eventually, Abraham’s conversation with God finishes in verse 33 of the text. God leaves, and Abraham returns home, like the encounter was the most normal and natural thing in the world.

The story of Genesis 18 is an unassumingly beautiful one. And when I read through the scripture, three important details jump out for me.

  1. God chose to visit Abraham that day. He knew the desires of his servant, Abraham, he loved him, and he chose to take the time to visit him even though he was on his way to do important work.

  2. Abraham wanted to be with God. When Abraham realized that the Lord was at his home, the first thing he wanted to do was serve him. Even when he had finished serving him, he still wanted to be with God. Abraham desired to linger in the Lord’s presence.

  3. God was in no rush. He was not there to judge, rebuke, or even to instruct Abraham. God wanted to be with Abraham, and to allow Abraham to linger in his presence.

I had never thought of this passage as anything more that an Old Testament story about God and one of his children. Nothing particular ever jumped out at me. However, this passage was recently brought to my attention again and God began revealing truths to me.

When I lead worship, or even when I sit at home in private worship, I am constantly thinking about what I want to ask God, the problems in my life, my short comings, the people around me that are suffering, and I am constantly trying to know things about the Lord. But here, we read about the beauty of just lingering in his presence. Abraham had questions and stresses, but what he wanted most was to just be with God. And God was there for him.

As Christians, we have this incredible opportunity to linger with God, and as worshippers, we have this inherent, sometimes unrecognized, need to linger with him. When we enter into a time of worship, I hope we remember that we are not there to “get” things from God. We can come to him with any of the desires or questions on our hearts. But the beautiful fact of worshipping a living God is that we have this ability to linger with him, to “draw near to him”, to simply be with him in his presence. There is beauty in just being with our creator God.

Posted by Mary Grierson

Pastoral Search Team Update #4

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I have lived in Tsawwassen, on and off, for over 30 years now and, boy, has it changed. It is hard to imagine what it might be like in a few more years when my youngest child graduates from SDSS: the mall is no longer new; there is a new bridge connecting us to Richmond and Vancouver; and South Delta Baptist Church reflects the vision and character of our new lead pastor. 

The PST met again on Monday to work on the pastoral search profile. We have shared the mission, vision, and values of our church, summarized our history, and provided a profile of what makes the communities of Ladner and Tsawwassen the greatest place in BC. We will be putting the final touches on the report and position description over the next two weeks and then it should be ready to be shared and sent out to potential candidates. When they are complete, the profile and position description will be available on our website.

We invite you to pray with us. This Sunday, we will be leading a short time of prayer following the morning service. Please plan to stay for a few minutes to pray with us for the man God has chosen as our next lead pastor. We will also have PST members at the spotlight table to share information and answer your questions. 

Posted by Craig Kraft

Pastoral Search Team Update #3

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Happy New Year.

Our pastoral search team met on January second to continue our work on the pastoral search package. After a short break for the holidays, we were all back at it with a number of responsibilities delegated to each team member. Our goal is to have a lead pastor position description and profile ready for distribution at the end of the month. When the package is completed, we will start to advertise for applications.

Please continue to pray for our team as we work with the board to complete this important part of the search process. We will be providing prayer updates in the weeks to come, but will you pray for our team this week? We have a lot of work ahead of us this month and we want to be diligent and thorough in our preparation. We do not know yet who our next pastor will be, but God does. We are working toward alignment with His plans and future for SDBC.

“God knows that we, with our limited vision, don’t even know for which we should pray. When we entrust our requests to Him, we trust Him to honour our prayers with holy judgment.”  Max Lucado; Walking with the Saviour.

Posted by Craig Kraft